TransPennine Express agrees to scrap overnight train storage in Scarborough after residents win noise battle

A rail operator has said it will no longer keep trains overnight at a new £7 million depot in Scarborough after local residents complained that the noise was making their lives a misery.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 11:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 11:18 am

The TransPennine Express depot, behind Seamer Road, opened in 2019 to provide maintenance, including refuelling, to the train company’s fleet.

The depot was meant to bring jobs and investment to the town but since the depot began operating, some people living in the area claimed it only brought disruption with their lives being ruined by the noise of the trains, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

Last year, Gary Douthwaite, who lives close to Scarborough Railway Station in Westwood Close, told councillors that noise from the station had become a major issue as residents begged the authority for help.

Scarborough Railway Station, the TransPennine Express depot is located behind Seamer Road.

He said: “I live 150 metres away from the station and the noise on a night is horrendous.

“It is destroying my life and driving me mad.”

Now, the rail company has agreed to not keep trains at the depot overnight.

In a statement, Scarborough Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Sustainability, Cllr Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff, said: “TransPennine Express (TPE) informed us that from August 16, it has no longer used the Scarborough depot for the overnight stabling of the class 68 hauled trainsets.

“These will now be maintained and refuelled at Longsight depot in Manchester. Instead, the last train of the day to arrive at Scarborough station will be shut down on arrival and not restarted until the following morning as it forms the first train of the day towards York.

“TPE says the Scarborough depot will only be used between the hours of 11pm and 7am in ‘exceptional circumstances’.”

Cllr Donohue-Moncrieff said the company had written to local residents to inform them of the change, which had come about following the discussions between the council’s environmental protection investigation team, TPE and people who had raised complaints.

She added: “It goes without saying that we are delighted TPE has come up with a solution to an issue which has blighted local residents for a long time.

“We are grateful for the help local residents have given us to create the case to encourage TransPennine Express to act and do something about this issue.

“We will continue to monitor TPE’s new operating procedures to ensure the use of Scarborough station instead of the depot does not create an issue in a different place.”

Paul Staples, fleet director for TransPennine Express told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Working with the local council, we’ve now introduced some operational changes to the way we use our trains at Scarborough, to reduce the level of noise experienced by residents living close to our depot.

“Lots of hard work has gone into making the changes, which will mean some trains in Scarborough will no longer stay at the depot for maintenance overnight.

“The depot remains an important facility for us, which provides jobs for local people. For the time-being, staff from the depot are doing work for us at the station and we are now looking at plans for how we use the depot going forward.

“Crucially, the changes we have made allow us to continue operating our Nova 3 trains in and out of the town, providing vital connections for customers and supporting the local economy.”